And Also, A Budget
Aside from everything else, we could see the FY2010 budget passed this week, in time for the 100 day festivities.
House and Senate Democrats reached a budget deal on Monday night that will allow both chambers to vote on budget resolutions this week.
Budget negotiators, after hours of negotiations on Monday, put finishing touches on the resolution, which Democrats hope to approve by President Obama's 100th day in office Wednesday.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) called the budget "a major accomplishment."
"We are meeting President Obama’s goals of reducing our dependence on foreign energy, striving for excellence in education, reforming our healthcare system, and providing middle-class tax relief – all while still cutting the deficit substantially," he said.
It looks like the price of reconciliation instructions for health care was a codifying of PAYGO rules, which basically mandates that all new spending find an offset in funding. That can be good, because it forces Blue Dogs to pay for spending with taxes on the wealthy, for example, or it could be bad, as it constrains lawmakers from deficit spending, particularly in a recession.
More from the AP. The serious issues of health care and climate change will be put off until later in the year; this budget is more of a framework. Fortunately, conferee Rosa DeLauro says that no deal to tinker with Social Security was offered as an exchange for the reconciliation instruction on health care.